An all-new Manx team is set to make its debut at the 2009 Isle of Man TT races with two newcomers on board.
The innovative team, led by Island businessman Mark Cubbon, will race under the banner of ‘thepeoplesbike.com’ and will compete in all five solo classes.
The team is offering race fans a unique opportunity to be involved in the team and be part of the greatest motorcycle road race in the world. By purchasing a £50 sponsorship package, a 40mm high photo of the individual will be printed onto the fairing of the motorcycle and they will also receive a free "thepeoplesbike.com" t-shirt to say that they are one of the sponsors of this unique bike team.
Only team sponsors will receive this t-shirt and it will not be available for sale to the public.
Campaigning a 1000cc Suzuki in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior races for the new team will be Kent’s Steve Mercer. The 27-year-old is well established in the British Championship paddock and having dominated the 2006 MRO Superstock Championship, he moved into the British Championship proper in 2007.
A whole host of top 10 finishes have been recorded since whilst he also made his road racing debut at Macau last year finishing in an excellent 12th place.
Macclesfield’s James Ford has been competing in the British 125cc Championship since 2002 and enjoyed his best season in 2006, finishing 12th overall, and he also notched up a number of top 10 positions in the last three seasons. Although the 29-year-old will be making his Mountain Course debut, he is no stranger to road racing having finished 3rd in the 2008 125cc race at the North West 200 and 9th in 2007, while also scoring numerous top five finishes at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough.
He also competed at the inaugural Billown TT, claiming an excellent 4th place and will again be competing at Billown in 2009. On the Mountain Course, however, he will ride thepeoplesbike.com’s 600cc Kawasaki in the two Supersport races.
Team manager and owner Cubbon said:
'As a Manxman, I wanted to put something back in to the TT Races and the team is designed to do just that. This new venture into racing is not about making money, all the members of our support team receive no wages or expenses, and we all give our time freely because we love motorcycle racing.
All sponsorship we receive will be spent on the purchase and running costs of the bikes. It's about putting a people's rider on a people's bike, backed by race fans.'
Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle added:
'The TT races are an integral part of the Isle of Man community and the involvement of all the Manx people has been crucial to its success for over 100 years so it’s fantastic to see a new Isle of Man team formed with such an entrepreneurial sponsorship approach.
They will give race fans all over the world a terrific opportunity to be involved in assisting two newcomers in their first and I wish them the very best of luck for their 2009 TT campaign.'